Blenducation: A new way to improve your Blender skills
by Sandra Gilbert

Over the years, my obsessive search for Blender related information and resources has led me to discover an amazing amount of resources. These resources I then compulsively save to CD and DVD to add to my personal Blender knowledge base for future reference.

What I have always enjoyed most, are those resources that let me see how an artist achieved something. It never ceases to delight me just how many ways Blender can be used and the sheer number of different work flows that are possible.

Which brings me to my latest find, Blenducation. I have wandered by their site a few times before; they have a nice series of video tutorials. And now, Blenducation has started offering online real-time classes.

Blenducation puts the personal touch, which only seems to come from a classroom type setting into learning Blender. Which we all know from experience can sometimes be a little difficult on your own. So just how do you get started at Blenducation?

First off, you need to register at the site and then you can sign up for offered classes. (There are complete instructions on the site explaining the sign up process). Knowing that interested participants are in a number of different time zones, David included a time zone setting on his site, that once set to your time zone, allows you to see when the classes are offered in “your time”. Very handy indeed for those like me who are forever trying to make time conversión more complicated than it really is.

Once you have signed up, you receive an email invitation (on the day of the class) with a link to join a “net meeting” room. That is where your class will take place. After you join the class, you see the instructor’s desktop and watch the lesson in real time as it is being taught. There is even a chat room, where you can talque to the other students as well as the instructor.

Of course, being too curious for my own good, I have attended several classes already, and had so much fun that I plan on becoming a permanent student at Blenducation. In fact I haven't had that much fun in ages. Not only do I get to see how others work, I learn new things and get a chance to chat with fellow Blenderheads.

I can see enormous potential for this project. The ability to hold classes’ real time is a great way to get students from all over together in an interactive environment. And as most of the classes at this time are being offered for free, it is a wonderful way to expand your Blender knowledge and skills.

by Sandra Gilbert